Diabetic Eye Exam Question

I am about to have my first eye exam since being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  Does it matter what type of eye doctor I see?  Is a "diabetic eye exam" the same as a regular eye exam?  And can I go to the chain eye exam places like Vision World, or do I need to go to a special doctor for it? 


I had my first diabetic eye exam at a regular eye doctor at a chain place. Be sure to tell the Doctor you are type 1 diabetic, as the exam is different. You will have to have to have your pupils dilated so the doctor can look for any signs of retinopathy. If there is, you will need to see a specialist to see how far it has progressed. Hope it will be all clear for you.


From my experience a "diabetic eye exam" is just a traditional dilated eye exam.  I had an eye injury in 1st grade that required surgery and yearly exams for a few years...everything turned out fine, and when I started getting eye exams for diabetes a few years later they were no different than the eye exams related to my injury.

The only thing I'd suggest is going to an Ophthalmologist vs an Optometrist.  The former have been to medical school and undoubtedly have more knowledge about diabetes.  Look for an MD or DO by the doc's name to see if the doc is an Ophthalmologist (man, that's hard to spell).

The major difference is that you should be going to an ophthalmologist rather than an optometrist. Optometrists are "vision doctors," while ophthalmologists are "eye doctors" who will do a full examination of your eye. You'll need to be dilated and the doctor will have to look in the back of your eye to look for signs of retinopathy, glaucoma, and neuropathy. Good luck. :)

Make sure you tell them it is a Diabetic check up because your heath insurance may cover it even if you don't have vision insurance. Something you may want to find out ahead of time with both the vision center and/or your insurance.